S: Nicole's Scrapbook
1: As a child, I lived my life how I wanted to. I did not care how I acted and I never followed the rules. There were a lot of things I did not know about life. As I grew up, I started to hang around friends who were bad influences on me. If I did the things they did they would accept me and I will be like everybody else. I did not know that later on in life there would be consequences if I did not change. My mom told me that God is watching everything I do. At this time I did not believe in God and I was ignorant about what I was doing. I did not care because I was not a Christian and I did not know how I was supposed to ‘act’. I gave into peer pressure and started doing things I would never do. Someone offered me my first drink and I did not hesitate to take it. When I took my first drink I was living my life to the fullest. I had a car, money, and friends to hang with. I did not need anything else in my life to make me more happy and satisfied. I knew what I was doing was not right but since everyone else was doing it; I did it also. I never listen to what my mother had to say because she always said I have a bad attitude. When my mother found out what I was doing she took away my cell phone and my car keys away. As I continued to hang around with my friends at school; I did not realize how it made my mother change her opinion about me. She was scared for what my future would be like if I keep going down the wrong path. She told me I needed Christ in my life so I can live the life he intended for me to live. I did not want to change because I knew if I gave my life to Christ I would have to give up everything I was doing. I had to get my life on track because I knew I was headed the wrong direction. I was shaken because I was worried that my friends would judge me any they would not accept me. It took me a couple of weeks contemplating what I wanted to do. I wanted my life to be brighter than it was. I knew that the path of becoming more intelligent on making the right decisions would be hard. I knew it would take all that I have to get to point of my life where I needed to be. When I was a child my mother emphasize that there was a man who has open arms to everyone and He has the power to do anything he wants to. I wanted to accept Jesus in my heart so I can get my life on track. I then started going to church and attending Bible study. As I continued to go to church and making the right decisions the days of my life started getting better. I enjoy the feeling that I had. I was renewed on the inside and also I had a cleansed heart that cared and loved everyone around me. My mother was proud of the decision I made. As long as I kept believing and progressing I knew nothing could bring me down. One Sunday morning, my mom and I went to church. As I was listening to the pastor preach the word of God, I knew it was time to accept Jesus into my heart. I started to sweat because I knew it was my time to change. As I walked down the aisle I started to shake. I was ready to give my life to Christ. My mom’s eyes filled with tears. From that point forward I knew that I would live a better and happy life. A few Sundays later was the baptism. My old life would soon be washed away and my new life would be just the beginning. When the pastor baptized me, I went down as a non-believer, ignorant, and did not care about anyone except for myself. As I came back up I was a new person and ready to live my life the way I was suppose to live it. Even though I lost ‘friends’ I notice they were bad influence on me and they were not true friends in the beginning.
2: My parents have been married since May 24, 1993. I was born August 3, 1993. As I grew up until I was six years old my parents lived together. My little heart was ecstatic to see my parents come home everyday ay from work. As I got older things started to change. My dad would come home late at night. Then after awhile I have not seen him for eleven years. When I was seventeen years old my parents went their separate ways. When my mom told me they were getting a divorce, my life was like a rainy day but it never stopped raining. I was alone and at the bottom of the pit. I cried my eyes out for days because I will not be able to live with both of my parents. I did not want this to happen. I did not want to choose between which parents to live with. I hold on to past memories just to remember what it feels like to be happy. I hoped not to lose contact with my dad because he moved to South Carolina. After the divorce there were hard feelings between my parents. When my parents split up I miss all of the family vacations we went on for my birthday. I keep to myself now that my parents are divorced. Every night I go to bed and cry. Nothing ever goes right after their divorce. My mom did not want the divorce to happen because she knew how it was going to affect me mentally and emotionally. I did not want her to be unhappy for the rest of her life so I am glad she made the right decision. As long as her heart is where she wants it to be I will be fine with anything. When my parents got a divorce I had to do something to keep me occupied. After school on some days I would play basketball with my friends. Playing basketball took all of the stress that I had away. Basketball is my motivation in my life. My mom likes watching me play basketball because it gives her something to do on the weekend. Basketball opens up so many opportunities for me. It gave me the chance to meet new people. I learned how to break out of comfort zone and not to be so conservative like I use to be. It also gave me the opportunity to travel to different cities. We traveled all the way down to Florida and all the way up to Virginia. Basketball takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Without my mother supporting me in everything I do I would not be able to any of this. My mom encourages me not to give up when I cannot do it anymore. She is the reason why I play basketball so I can take a load off of her chest. I hope one day I will make it to the W.N.B.A so I can pay for everything and anything that she needs. As I played basketball throughout high school it allowed college coaches see my ability to play the sport that I love. I received my first offer from Florida Tech University. I was overwhelmed with happiness. If I accepted this offer my mom would not have to pay for any of my college necessities. I did not accept the offer because I did not want to move so far away from my family. I hoped another offer would come if I did not accept the one from Florida. Lucky enough for me a college coach from Winston Salem University in North Carolina called my coach and offered a scholarship for me. I jump with joy and praised God for letting the coach from Winston give me an offer. My mom was also happy because I did not have to move to far from home. In the upcoming year I will be playing for the Rams. I am glad I worked hard because if I did not the scholarship would have never happened.
3: Three years ago I was dating a boy named Bill. I never actually met him face to face; Kaylea, one of my close friends, had set us up together. When we first met he was tall, dark, had black hair, and his voice I was as deep as the ocean. He cared about me a lot and he was different from every other boy. My heart was filled with joy on the inside because he was the one for me. A couple of months went by and we would see each other every weekend. As I was dating Bill, he was giving me signs that he was out for one thing. When we would go out on dates he would take me to places where it would be dark and there would only be few people around. I was disheartened by this because I have strong feelings for him. Anything that he needed I would be head over heels for him. I did not want to break up with him, I was afraid of being the odd one out because all of my friends had boyfriends and I did not. I stayed with him a little bit longer hoping that things would change. Things got a little bit better after I spoke to him to tell him what was on my mind; but a few weeks later it started happening again. Bill and I stopped dating for a couple of weeks. I find out from one of my friends that he had sex with another girl. My eyes filled with tears knowing that someone who I gave my heart out to would do this to me. The other side of me realized that he was not with me just for who I am. After I found this out, I could not concentrate on anything that I did. I was not focus on school or any other important matter. I was very taciturn when my mom or my friends tried to console me. After our break up, I told myself that I would never give my heart to another boy again and I would never trust any other boy. As I lay in bed, I prayed that God would one day send me somebody who would take my heart and love it as much I would love theirs. In my junior year of high school, I transferred from Hickory Grove Christian School and I went to Garinger High school. I made a lot of new friends. I was mostly friends with the boys because the girls brought to much drama. During basketball season, me and this boy Ranardo were really good friends. We told each other secrets that we would never tell out parents or our friends. In the middle of October, he told me he has feelings for me. I was hesitant to talk to him more than a friend because I did not want to go through heartbreak. After awhile I started to have feelings for him also. Ranardo did anything for me and if I ask for something he gave it to me. One day he had to tell me something that he wanted to get off his chest. As we sat there on the couch Ranardo told me that he has a girlfriend. My heart ached with hatred; at that point I never wanted to date another boy again because they are all the same. Ranardo and I have not talked ever since he told me he had a girlfriend. He realizes he lost a real good person because he apologizes for weeks for lying to me. I eventually forgave him and we started over as friends. We started talking again and once again we had feelings for one another. We both knew that we did not want to lose one another because there was a connection. On January 16, 2010 Ranardo ask to me to be his girlfriend. I was in awe; I did not know what to say. I was quiet for a few minutes pondering. I knew if we date there would be major trust issues because of my past relationship with Bill. I finally answered “YES’. Ever since then, Ranardo and I have dated for 17 months. We go through a lot of personal issues with each other but our heart belongs with one another. My life being with him has been full of excitement and I have never been so happy with any other boy.
4: During my early stages of my childhood, it was only my mom, my dog and I. since my brother moved out of the house I did not have anyone to relate to. Even though Teddy had four legs and a tail he was my best friend. He understood what and how I was feeling on the inside. He would lie beside me every night cleaning his paws and making irritating noises as he does so. He was big, black with a white patch in the middle of his chest. His hair would shed all over the place and my mom would get so aggravated with his hair everywhere that her veins would pop out of her neck. It is hard to get mad at Teddy when his big brown eyes look at you as if he did nothing wrong. Anyone who would come to our house would be either shaking in their shoes or yelling on top of their lungs because they thought he was a big, black bear. Teddy would eat anything that he sees. My head would blow with steam when he eats my food off of my plate. No matter what he did, I could not stay mad at him for long. My heart dropped to my feet every time Teddy jumps the fence and runaway. My mind would be running with questions like will he find his way home? When my mom and I try to find him, we always used cheese to entice him because that was his favorite food. As I got older, so did teddy. He started to become very sick and he stopped eating for weeks. One morning my mom took teddy to the vet. She called back with a tearful message saying that teddy was put to sleep. When I found out he was put to sleep my body went cold and numb. I could not believe that my best friend passed away. Days after his death were very long, gloomy, and dark. I secluded myself from everybody who tried to comfort me. It took several days to get over his death. I regret the days when I treated him with a cold shoulder. Now that he is gone I miss all of the irritating stuff that he did. I lost a family member. I had Teddy ever since I was in the first grade. He has been through everything with me when it comes to the thunderstorms and birthday parties. I miss when he would run around in circles trying to bite his own tail. He was a good dog and protected us from our own family member at times. I would hope that after Teddy’s death we would get another pet. My mom did not want anymore pets because she did not want to lose another family member. Seeing my mom upset over Teddy made me even more distraught. I have dreams about him occasionally. It will usually be Teddy jumping up and down with a smile on his face. When I wake up I cry because I feel like it was in real life. When I was at home, I needed to find something that would keep me busy. I started to paint my nails almost every day. The color of my nails would signify what mood I would be in. Blue represented sadness but there is hope and red would signify me doing my own thing and nobody can stop me. The more I painted my nails, the more I became being perfect painting other people’s nails. Painting my nails became one of my favorite hobbies. If I did not paint my nails then it would be awkward. I then started to paint my mom’s nail, my boyfriend’s sibling and mother’s nails, and my mom’s friend’s nails. As I continued to paint friends and families nails they started to pay me each time I did them. It was good to make easy money on the side while I am still working hard in school
5: When I was in fifth grade I attended Hickory Grove Christian School. On my first day of school everybody embrace me with open arms. My heart was filled with joy every time I walked into school. The teachers were always more than happy to help me with anything. Everyone who walked into school realized they were in a loving environment. On the other hand Hickory Grove Christian is one of the top ten private schools in Charlotte and it required a lot of money to attend. Since there were no longer both parents living in the house money was tight. My mom works extremely hard in order for me to attend here. She worked two jobs every week. My mom work eight hours every day of the week and five hours on the weekend. I would cry my eyes out if I could not attend here and be with my friends. I offered to do anything to help mom to make anything easier for her. We were having a hard time with money so much that my mom turned to the man whom she used to be married to for seventeen years for help. Asking him for help was the last thing she wanted to do but she had no choice but to do so. She could not support me by herself anymore so ask him to help. He agreed to pay half of the school tuition and to pay for anything else that I needed. It was great that he started to help pay for tuition; but every year the tuition gradually increased. My mind was racing with thought of what I could do to help. I offered to get a job but my mom did not want me to get a job because it would be hard to juggle school and a job at the same time. I offered to be homeschooled but my mom did not want that to happen either because that would take away from my social life. As I sat there and thought, I offered to transfer to Garinger High School. Garinger was not a well recommended school. Even though it was a scary school, told my mom that I would go there for a year so she can save money. In my junior year of high school I attended Garinger High School. On the first day of school my body filled with chills. As I walked across campus my legs began to shake any my palms were getting sweaty. I kept to myself for the week of school. When I started to open up to people they go to know who I am. I needed to be myself if I wanted to be accepted. I told them I did not want to go to Garinger because I did not want to get shot. They told me I was ignorant for making that judgment. Throughout the year everybody was open to me and they were there for me when I needed them. I assumed everyone would be cold hearted and rude. There were certain cliques that were not a good idea to hang around with. As long as I was smart with the decisions I made, I was fine where I was at. Going to Garinger taught me a whole lot of life lessons. I learned not to pass judgment against anyone but to get to know them. Even though Garinger was not on the best side of town, the kids were down to earth. Attending Garinger made me see how the real world is. Everything is not going to come easy, I have to work hard for everything that I want. I made so many new friends and I enjoy every minute while I was there. While I was there, I was one of the top ten students in my class. I also met my boyfriend at Garinger. I had the choice to go back to Hickory Grove for my senior year. I did not want to leave Garinger because that is where my heart was. I decided to go back to Hickory Grove because I missed all of my friends and I did not want to do a senior exit. Also I promised my best friend Ravyn that we would graduate together. Going back to Hickory Grove would give me a chance to get a better scholarship for basketball.